Breanna Bennett, 11, of Montgomery, Alabama, a member of Montgomery County 4-H and a sixth-grader at St. James School, produced a 30-minute educational film with her twin sister, Brooke, about the struggles of the civil rights movement that premiered at the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery. The girls decided they wanted to become filmmakers and teach children about black history after their family moved from Dubai to Miami and joined a church attended by leaders in the African-American community there. But the project didn’t get far because they soon moved again, this time to Alabama, where they joined the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. served as pastor at the peak of the civil rights movement. That was when Breanna and her sister decided to produce a film called “Architects of Change” to educate children about the heroes who strived to bring equal rights to all Americans.
Working with her sister, Breanna began the yearlong project by interviewing church elders about their experiences in the civil rights movement. Next, they started researching those turbulent times, visited landmarks in Alabama, and enrolled in the Rosa Parks Museum Architects of Change Summer Camp to learn more. They borrowed professional video equipment from the Rosa Parks Museum at Troy University and began filming interviews and gathering historical footage. Then they selected background music, and received editing assistance from the Baltimore School of Arts in Maryland. A short version of the film premiered last December at the museum and, a few months later, the full version premiered at Montgomery’s Civil Rights Memorial Center. “Our ultimate goal is to distribute the film to public and private schools throughout the country to educate children about this valuable part of world history!” said Breanna.